restricted access Chapter 21. Mutiny Parried and Quelled; the "Miserably Defective" Structure of Congress; Lafayette Checks Cornwallis (November 1780 to July 1781)
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GW_201-250.indd 244 5/2/12 7:45 AM CHAPTER 21 Mutiny Parried and Quelled; the "Miserably Defective" Structure of Congress; Lafayette Checks Cornwallis (November 1780 to July 1781) Virginia invaded by Arnold.-He destroys the stores at Westham and at Richmond.Retires to Portsmouth.-Mutiny ofthe Pennsylvania line.-Sir H. Clinton attempts to negotiate with the mutineers. - They compromise with the Government. -Mutiny in the jersey line.-Mission ofColonel Laurens to France. -Congress recommends a system ofrevenue. -Reform in the Executive departments. -Confederation adopted. Military transactions.- Lafoyette detached to Virginia.- Cornwallis arrives.-Presses Lafoyette.-Expedition to Charlottesville, to Point ofFork.- Lafoyetteforms ajunction with Wayne.- Cornwallis retires to the lower country.- General Washington's letters intercepted. -Action nearjamestown. Nov. 17so THE EVACUATION of Portsmouth by Leslie afforded Virginia but a short interval of repose. On the 30th of December q8o, a fleet of transports, having on board between one and two thousand men, commanded by GeneralArnold , anchored in Hampton roads, and proceeded next day up James 1781 river, under convoy of two small ships ofwar. On the 4th ofJanuary, they landed at Westover, about twenty-five miles from Richmond, the metropolis of the state, and Arnold commenced his march the next day for that place at the head ofabout nine hundred men. A few continental troops who were at Petersburg, were ordered to the capital; and between one and two hundred militia, collected from the town and its immediate vicinity, were directed to harass the advancing enemy. This party being too feeble for its object, Arnold entered Richmond on the 5th, where he halted with about five hundred men. The residue proceeded under Lieutenant-Colonel Simcoe1 to Westham, where they burnt I. John Graves Simcoe (1752- r8o6), Lieutenant Colonel in the British army, British com244 GW_201-250.indd 245 5/2/12 7:45 AM ~ Mutiny Parriedand Quelled *' several public buildings with military stores to a considerable amount, and many valuable papers which had been carried thither as to a place ofsafety. This service being effected, Simcoe rejoined Arnold at Richmond; where the public stores, and a large quantity of rum and salt belonging to private individuals, were destroyed. The army returned to Westover on the yth, and re-embarking on the Ioth, proceeded down the river. It was followed by the Baron Steuben with a few new levies and militia. Near Hood's, Colonel Clark drew a party of them into an ambuscade, and gave them one fire with some effect, but, on its being partially returned, the Americans fled in the utmost confusion. Arnold reached Portsmouth on the 20th, where he manifested an intention to establish a permanent post. The loss of the British in this expedition was stated in the New York Gazette at seven killed, including one subaltern; and twenty-three wounded, among whom was one captain. This small loss was sustained almost entirely in the ambuscade near Hood's. In the North, the year commenced with an event which, for a time, threatened the American cause with total ruin. The accumulated sufferings and privations ofthe army constitute a large and interesting part ofthe history ofthat war which gave independence to the United States. In addition to these, the Pennsylvania line complained ofgrievances almost peculiar to itself. When Congress directed enlistments to be made for threeyears orduring the war, the recruiting officers of Pennsylvania, in some instances, instead ofengaging their men definitively for the one period or the other, engaged them generally for three years or the war. This ambiguity produced its natural effect. The soldier claimed his discharge at the expiration ofthree years, and the officer insisted on retaining him during the war. The discontents, which had been long fomenting, broke out on the Ist 1781 ofJanuary in an open and almost universal revolt of the line? On a sigmander of the Queen's Rangers, an elite Tory (Loyalist) unit comprised of horse and foot troops. 2. That is, a revolt ofthe Pennsylvania Continental regiments; this occurred in theirwinter camp of1780-81 in Morristown, NewJersey, one ofseveral winter camps for the Continentals that year. 245 GW_201-250.indd 246 5/2/12 7:45 AM ~ COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE REVOLUTION 9> nal given, the non-commissioned officers and privates paraded under arms, avowing their determination to march to the seat of government and obtain redress, or serve no longer. In attempting to suppress the mutiny, six or seven mutineers were wounded on the one side; and, on the other, Captain Billings was killed...


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Subject Headings

  • Washington, George, -- 1732-1799.
  • Presidents -- United States -- Biography.
  • Generals -- United States -- Biography.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1775-1783.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1783-1809.
  • United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Campaigns.
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